By Fatima Gorezi
With a long experience in communication, business consulting and public relations
Kasami spring is founder of the "School of Leadership". Her past as a human rights activist in Macedonia, with her main focus on youth empowerment, has greatly influenced her vision for the establishment of this school. It has decided to make available its capacity and potential in the service of a platform that can be used by young people, first from Macedonia and then from all over the region, to gain knowledge on leadership, which would be a help. great for them to be employed, qualified, or even improve the background of their practical knowledge in the existing workplace. In this interview for "Star People", the mother of two children (one in anticipation) shares with us her experience in leadership, this field somewhat unknown in the Albanian space, but very important for the development of any society.
Spring, tell us a little about your background and early career?
Great success can also be worn as a small opportunity to appear during your life. So seize every opportunity that comes your way. This has been the principle that has guided my development since the early days of my career. As a student, an ardent activist involved in civil society - mainly in the field of youth empowerment, with a strong desire to do something different for myself and others. I started law school and graduated as a Dutch Government Scholarship Fellow, who later led the Macedonia branch of an international organization based in Washington, DC, for a period of over ten years. As an ambitious guy in finding new opportunities and challenges, not ceasing to keep an eye on the four, I was selected to the management team of a program dedicated to building the capacity of the Macedonian Parliament, a program of the United Kingdom government. Meanwhile, my postgraduate education has been completed in Italy and London, in the fields of: Political Science, as well as Public Relations and Reputation Management and another Master in International Project Management.
Thankfully in all the competitions where the commissions were composed of foreign and not local experts, I won chances. This benefited my professional training and conditioned my adaptation to international environments. For the sake of truth, this also has its disadvantages, in the context of adapting the individual as a professional to certain standards, which he does not necessarily find common in our countries and this makes you shape yourself as selective and demanding in nature.
'' Public speaking '' is a branch that in developed countries has become a real industry. How did the desire and interest for "public speaking" come to you and how did you bring it në Macedonia?
In the wake of those challenges that I accepted so enthusiastically, I was once again lucky to be accepted into a private international company, a big business name in our countries but also in the world, of large size and with performance of excellence wherever it lies in world. The consultancy I offer in the field of public relations, including public speaking and communication in general, prompted me to seek and shape formal education with a master's degree in Public Relations and Reputation Management, London. This developed my critical sense of these topics and I realized how much we need this expertise, especially the profiles that need to be professional in this area and that are so few. Going deeper professionally you start to identify the gaps of a certain field and thus I realized how unfortunate are the profiles that have public exposure while not having enough knowledge on ethics and dignified representation.
Unfortunately, companies like ours produce profiles called "experts in everything" which is very harmful and helps stagnation even more in their place.
In terms of public speaking, for those who have the "substance" of the main subject of their activity, they must definitely be masters to make it as powerful and meaningful as possible, otherwise, they will forever be like comparing offering a product with many flaws in the market, i.e. that few-who buys it: either those who are forced, or those who do it out of hatred.
You have a long experience in public relations and communication, but you are also the founder of the "School of Leadership". Why in this initiative? How important is leadership and public speaking today? How important is it for the business?
The "School of Leadership" came after a decade of experience working closely with leaders and constantly announcing such, both from the country and from the international arena. The School of Leadership came as my inner need to invest from what I possess, for the society to which I belong. The philosophical question that inevitably comes at a stage in life is "why me and why here?" I tried to respond with the highest sense of responsibility, at a time when the euphoria of young people leaving our country had turned into an exodus, or at least hurt me so deeply that I felt this way. Unable to do anything else, I set in motion all my capacity and potential in the service of a platform that would be used by young people, starting from Macedonia, to find an accredited program, led by lectures from the best in the field. relevant, combined and experienced in practice, and all this for free! Free because no one should be deprived because of the socio-economic situation in which it finds itself, but also because we would not tolerate compromises with the level of participants, against a fee, whatever it is. And what was desired was all achieved and even exceeded expectations.
I am convinced that for the ambitious young man, the greatest tragedy is the unfulfilled potential and that is exactly why many of those who left and are leaving, do so.
In the most essential functionality, leadership is first and foremost to take the courage to take your life into your own hands and get the most out of it. Then the common good, as the most sublime form of leadership, comes uninvestigated.
The leadership platform dedicated to the target group of young people, in addition to the training which is a school in itself intertwined between the topics of leadership, public speaking and debating skills, also contains the youth web portal "BonZo" which alludes and is dedicated to giving voice of values and good deeds.
Meanwhile when we talk about business, without a strong leadership, business will be part of medium and temporary businesses. The strong affinity of the successful leader is also the vision, an attribute that is attributed in particular to a leader in the field of sustainable business.
Nowadays where the world is running with dizzying dynamics, staying in place and without trying to follow the trend is a luxury that brings collapse.
What programs does your school include?
As three themes that complement each other, the "School of Leadership" contains the module of: leadership, public speaking and debate. These are the areas that would equip the new leader on the road and the challenges towards his success and fulfillment as a leader, regardless of the field he aspires to.
In addition, in the training package we offer is that of: PR / or Public Relations and Reputation Management, as well as Branding for organizations (and businesses) as well as for individuals and also the training of “Etiquette of business and diplomatic protocol ”.
Full of awareness that all these are relatively new topics and sufficiently raw, I am sure that in a short time they will be widely touched and consumed by the Albanian audience, as a need of the time.
Leadership and public speaking seem to be somewhat new branches or are considered as such in the Albanian space. What have been the biggest challenges for you?
When you have something in mind and you are determined to do it, you will find ways to carry out your plan, even if you will be financially squeezed out of your savings (Smile), or even if you will be opposed in part by why you do it. this only in Albanian and English, even if you have to work tirelessly for months, outside of regular working hours, even as a mother and a expectant mother. (Smiles)
As everywhere to the cloud, even here as the first openly challenged challenge is hesitation.
I might not call it a challenge, but an interesting moment that I did not expect, were the theories that quickly spread how "these Leadership School surely once you understand what they do, will be forming a political party ”, Or even voices like these. It makes me laugh a little but it also speaks a lot about the mentality and even more about the bitter reality that: in our society one can not even think, much less believe that someone is doing something without a point of personal interest, for others. But I really did not stop or spend the slightest energy to fill the minds of skeptics, because this time too I wanted my weakness in personal promotion to be filled through work and deeds. Meanwhile, in parallel, the developed world has initiatives like these, for the common good, more frequent and people do not show skepticism about them.
As Eleanor Roosevelt put it: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." , but also: '' Dreams do not come true unless you work for them. ''
How interested are Albanians in training and learning more about leadership?
Albanian youth generally have a receptive approach to the cloud. Aware of this, I remain very vigilant in what we offer to them, wanting to teach them the high standards they deserve and not just enough to say. The things we offer must match the same ones we would love for ourselves. This way you can be sure that you are doing the right thing.
The expressed interest of the Albanian youth, including those from Kosovo and Albania, has been so great that we have unfortunately not been able to accept all of them. In each new call for applications we had over a hundred, and last time close to two hundred applicants. This figure of those who take the initiative to fill out application forms speaks volumes. Above all the message I read from this issue is that young people want opportunities and want a lot to learn. Full of those who participate surprise with their high level. The fact that it creates a place where you gather them and give them one more chance and nourish them with motivation for every day, fills you with motivation and no matter how tedious, often even exhausting, it is as addictive as belongs to the desire to do it again and always enriching it with innovation.
In response to the interest of Albanians in the trio of our Albanian-speaking countries, further trainings and collaborations are being designed together with Tirana and Pristina.
What are the qualities of a successful leader, in your opinion?
A true leader above all must be stripped of his ego. Second, if he has not developed a sense of responsibility to the other and the common good, he is in my opinion simply a manager and not a leader. So these two traits are what surely make the difference and answer that big question of the difference between leader and manager.
When talking about a leader, attributes like: work discipline, consistency, concentration, are indisputable. Beyond that, the leader must be visionary, often altruistic, tolerant and with a developed sense of the right thing and the right way at the right time.
Should everyone be a leader in their daily lives?
Given the concept of a preliminary response, it would be ideal if everyone were "at least a leader". But unfortunately in real life it does not work that way. Therefore, those who are fortunate to be endowed with these attributes as above, have a moral responsibility above all, to help others as well, because to be a leader is not to walk first, but last ( and not just in the figurative sense), is to make sure that everyone else is well before you focus on yourself, is to love change and work for it uncompromisingly to your desires, is to reach out to the other with self-initiative and not just when you ask for it.
Working to find the leader within yourself is serious self-monitoring work and above all, staying honestly honest throughout the process. This way you will find the leader and develop your authentic leadership.
Success is said to be part of habits and is determined by the things we do every day. What are those actions, attitudes, behaviors that you would advise people to be successful in their lives?
There are many, but those without which a leader is not thought to be, are undoubtedly attributes such as: sincerity and integrity, dedication and passion, inspiring others, communication skills, decision-making skills and creativity.
If these seem like a lot, they are all achievable and above all by creating a serious approach first to yourself and others and remember, others perceive you as you position yourself. But even if you position yourself in the place you do not deserve, it will be a temporary mask, for which lost respect you will find it very difficult to regain, so be careful with yourself!
A leader must stay well informed about daily events, he must maintain relationships with established connections and work on creating new ones, he must lead an exemplary life as is the model he promotes towards others and above it all have established their own mechanisms to continue to walk courageously even when it seems very difficult.
A lot of positivity is what attracts people, because it is what everyone really needs in times of intense, ever-increasing rhythms and dynamics.
"Birds find shelter during the rain, but eagles avoid the rain by flying over the clouds. As problems are common, but the approach to them makes a difference. " (Dr. A. Kalam)
*Gete from Star People magazine, print version